Sunday, May 1, 2011

Final Project 16

a screenshot of the edm 310 discussion board

Richard and I began contemplating what we would do for our final project. Being that we both have experience using and monitering various discussion boards on the internet, we chose to create one for edm 310. We invision this tool, if Dr. Strange so chooses, as another place to both access and discuss the material we have covered in edm 310. Right now the board is on a freeware server so it will need more effective hosting if it is to be what Richard and myself invisioned it could be. For me, it would be a great place for students to share more of their experiences and work amongst one another. Feel free to register and look around

Final Report PLN

I feel like my PLN has expanded since my last report; now, through ALEX and Smart Exchange, I have found even more invaluable resources to aide me in my future educational endeavors. These two resources can inspire creativity, and provide a look into what other teachers are doing in their own classrooms. Also I think following Mr. Chamberlin on twitter, especially given his penchant for retweeting other fine educators, will be a great place for me to go to open up a dialogue with others about education. I have continued to subscribe to other educators blogs that I found to be especially inspiring, and I have book marked all of the teachers and classroom websites/blogs that we have visited thus far. Overwhelmingly my PLN will become a template for the things that I will be implementing in my own classroom.

Special Assignment: Metaphors

 a doctor telling a man that the knife in his back is a metaphor

In lieu of blog post 14, we were asked to examine the use of metaphors like the one we encountered in Mr. Spencer’s Pencil Me In Blog. Here we saw the idiocy behind many peoples view on technology, and its affects on students; the use of “pencils” here is a great way to show just how important technology is. No one would say that pencils might be harmful to students test scores or cause them harm, but yet we say that about the pencil of the 21st century, the laptop. This particular example demonstrates just how metaphors are used; the use of one word or words, and the concepts related to them, to explain the idea behind another. But metaphors go beyond using to unrelated words to explain a concept, it is also something that should give great insight into what someone is trying to convey. Again look to Mr. Spencer’s example to better understand the power of language; he is trying to convey that computers and technology are just as important to educational endeavors as pencils. The first time around I understood that the “pencils” did represent something else that was related till technology, but it wasn’t until I actually began to post my thoughts that I realized it was a direct response to another blog post regarding 1 for 1 computers for students. I don’t believe, at least I hope, none of my fellow classmates believed that this post was actually about pencils, but perhaps a little further investigation is warranted to better extrapolate
As far as a log of the metaphors I have been encountering recently, they are pretty much the common ones that people use in their everyday lives such as “Achilles heel” or “put on the back burner”. The best one I Think so far has been the “meat in the sandwich” used to describe the sustenance of a point or conversation. I believe the commonality of most of the metaphors I have encountered is evidence of the direction educators must take in order to better aid students in understanding the use of metaphors. So many of us don’t even notice the metaphors that we use on a daily basis; if teachers would start by explaining some of these common metaphors meanings, as well as how the function to better elaborate the idea they are attempting to convey, perhaps they could better grasp the concept of the metaphor and how powerful it is in language.

Final Video

C4T Summary Post

This has probably been the most in-depth blog, in regards to individual teachers, I have been assigned. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano is an educational jack of all trades; she is both a foreign language teacher and the recipient of a masters in instructional technology. Her credentials alone speak to how qualified she is to comment on the use of technology in the classroom.

The first post I encountered on her blog was about developing a PLN. The post was a basic outline of the numerous different things that can be a part of one's PLN, and there was also a slide show accompanying the post that went into a little more detail on the topic.

I responded:
April 17th, 2011 at 11:17 am
Dear Silvia,

I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class, and i just wanted to say thank you so much for all of the material available on your blog. Also thank you for the numerous slide shows; they are a wealth of information. This particular post was of great interest to me because we are posting status on the development of our own PLN as a part of our class assignments. so needles to say any information is always appreciated.
Again thank you so much for your contributions.

The next post was on the general concepts of technology and its relation to education. Given Silvia's knowledge of the matter, I took some of her statements to be very important for teachers to remember. The basic premise of the post was that technology is most effective when used by teachers who are "good" without it.

I responded:
May 1st, 2011 at 3:02 pm
Hello Again,
Just like everything else i have had the pleasure of reading on your blog, this piece is so enlightening! Your point, that great teaching is based on teachers and not supplemental “add-ons”, is one that i feel like a lot of people miss. Technology will not make a below average teacher a great one, especially if they lean on technology in order to support their ineffective teaching methods, but can be an invaluable tool for good teachers. I loo forward to continually checking in with you for more great insight like this. Feel free to stop by myblog or Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 blog.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blog Post 13

Alabama Learning Exchange (aka ALEX) is a website for teachers that contains a plethora of resources. A project of the Alabama Department of Education, ALEX is designed to share educational materials among teachers, parents, and administrators. The website has everything from web links to a virtual storehouse of podcast, and all the traditional subjects are represented, as well as some you might not expect like physical education and drive/traffic safety. With the diversity of material available, ALEX is an invaluable resource to all educators, even those that do not traditionally use technological approaches.
While i found the podcast area to be interesting, especially since that seems like a great resource for both students and teachers, it was the Lessons Plans section that really caught my attention. Each subject has its own set of lesson plans, completely searchable lists based on grade level, and those sections contain an abundance of lessons geared toward a specific grade range. But what makes the site so amazing, at least to me, is the opportunity it creates for collaboration; teachers can submit lessons as well as alter existing materials. It reminded me of the smart exchange website, but better geared to the Alabama Learning Standards that each subject should meet.

ACCESS Distant Learning (Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide) is the first thing we have discussed in this class aimed at equality. The initiative is admirable, seeking to grant access to a variety of opportunities for students with the greatest need, but seems to be missing the idea of "equality" that they so admirably declare in their mission statement. The areas they are attempting to address, which are vaguely laid out, are not addressing so many of the institutional practices that are aimed at excluding students of color.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Final Project Report

AS of right now, Richard and I are planning on doing something regrading a forum/discussion board. Hopefully next week we can hammer out more of the details.

Project 15

Blog Post 12

One of the things that I believe would be a great supplement to the material of this course is viewing modern trends in education in regards to technology. With that being said, find at least two articles, using either Google scholar or some other reputable source, to find recent articles that talk about how technology is benefiting education or students. Hopefully this assignment will help students learn to do quality research, and also open up discussion on where they see the future track of education. In three to four paragraphs, summarize the main points of each article and give your own commentary on what you have read. Outdated Teaching is failing our children is a great editorial piece on the modern environment of education, and what will happen if we don’t change it. Some statistics that jumped out at me from the article were the steady decline in graduation rates since 1970 and the drop of the U.S. from 1st to 12th among developmental countries. These two facts alone point to a frightening future for the field, but there are ways to capitalize on the “natural” tendencies of children that can help to help the future of education and the nation. The article talks about research and The Montessori model. This model, based on individualized, self-directed learning, equates these experiences to those of video games in regards to captivating attention when technological learning is implemented in the classroom. Instead of continuing to hold on to the “good ol’ days” of education is creating a void between students and the traditional classroom setting. Online High Schools Helping Students Avoid School Bullying is a more positive view of how technology can impact the lives of students. It also demonstrates a different aspect to the positive impact of online education. The article describes how online high schools, like James Madison High School, are eliminating the negative impacts of bullying in traditional schools. I believe a story lie this is important because not only does it give more support to the positive affects of online education, but it sheds light on an aspect of traditional schooling that some of us have a tendency to overlook.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blog Post 11

A look at Ms. Cassidy first grade class is a look into what education will, and should, look like. Probably the most remarkable part of this story is how Ms. Cassidy used the limited resources she began with to start her off on a journey into a revolutionary style of teaching. The ways she uses the technological resources to benefit her children’s education is just as remarkable as how she arrived at her current methodology; in a time where there is a mass disconnect between teachers and the parents of students, Ms. Cassidy has created an online portfolio that eliminates many of the issues facing parent teacher relations in the 21st century. This online writing also facilitates feedback on the children’s work that, if done properly, will help development of written and communicative skills. For me, as an avid proponent for the benefit of videogames, the use of the DS is a creative way to capture children’s attention; promoting problem solving, as well as continuing an evolving understanding of language semantics, through a medium that easily captivates children’s attention is perhaps one of the best uses of technology I have seen thus far. This is undoubtedly one of the most influential approaches that we can learn from as future educators; using your students likes and interest as a tool for education can do nothing but aide the state of modern education. Keeping an open mind seems to be the most important tenet of the teachers we have seen do such innovative things in their classroom; only through a desire to embrace new, and often difficult, approaches will keep education on the cutting edge of innovation.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Summary Post C4T#3

This C4T assignment has been my favorite thus far, even though the fischbowl is close. I had the astute privilege of reading Scott McLeod's dangerously irrelevant blog, and it was definitely a great insight into how teachers in classrooms view technology.

The first post I commented on was a "what if scenario" regarding technology. The purpose of much of the post was to bring to light how so many of the common complaints about education could be fixed through methods that a freely available online or by computer usage.
My response: Mr. McLeod I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the university of South Alabama. I find your statements to be quite poignant; we are on the verge of a revolution in our society in regards to technology. Education, through association, is a major stronghold against these advancements. The overzealous desire to keep the “traditional” methods of education alive will be the downfall of its future.

His most recent post was taking what we know about the state of modern trends, and extrapolating from thoes trends what the future means for education. My Response: Mr. Mcleod, Again you have blown my mind sir; with what we know about modern trends regarding media and how we consume it, it is easy to deduce what education needs to look like in order to remain relevant. Implementing these trends into education will be the pivotal question in how important education will be to our society again fee free to visit my blog if you are interested in other material we are covering in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at South Alabama.

Blog Post 10

a toothbrush made up of pencils
The ideas expressed by both Dan Brown and Morgan Bayda are evidence of a lack of education in institutional based learning. The discontent that these individuals experience fostered undoubtedly impacted their faith in modern institutional instruction, and in Dan’s case caused him to abandon the process altogether. Normally this would be the part of my post where I explain how technology, and most importantly the things we are learning in EDM 310 class, is the cure for what ails the current system. Instead I would like to react to the general argument made by these two individuals with an idea that does not even broach the topic of technology, but deals with outdated pedagogy. The ultimate complaint here is a lack of interaction among students, and subsequently a lack of stimulation, in the traditional classroom setting. This has nothing to do with technology or its use in the classroom; this is a problem that would present itself in even the most technologically integrated classroom if the traditional power structure on which education has been predicated continues to go by unchanged. My own experiences have found instances of the same complaints made by Brown and Bayda, but often times those classrooms were some of the best technologically equipped, and often times implemented, in the college of arts and sciences, but the best “education” I have experienced thus far came in classroom that consisted of one textbook and 24 other students. We never used a smart board or power point, or even notebook paper if one was so inclined. What we did have was a remarkable instructor who was eager to learn with us; an individual who was willing to listen to how we interpreted the seminal works of literature we encountered throughout the semester rather than rely on centuries of scholarly research. He would listen to what we had to say, and use those interpretations and feelings to direct us toward an understanding of the scholarly interpretations while never demeaning how we felt about the work. This zeal for using our predisposed knowledge and ability to formulate opinions to convey what we needed to know is what inspired me to pursue a career in education. Needless to say I acknowledge that not all students in the classroom felt the same as I did about the experience, but this brings me to a problem that I would like to address regarding the comments made in this post and video, especially in the statements made by Mr. Brown. In the video Brown states that traditional institutional instruction is not adequately preparing students for their future jobs. While this argument does have some volition, it points out a critical flaw among the youth of the information age; these youths want to learn, and subsequently work, how they want. A sense of extreme self entitlement is a flaw that will affect so many young people throughout there lives, especially in the workforce. Traditional institutional education methods are preparation for meeting expectations in the workplace, and teaching one to conduct themselves appropriately in such an environment. Brown cites that the landscape of corporate America is changing, even sighting Google as an example, but such examples only represent a fraction of corporate America. Many of the experiences students have in the workplace will still resemble Dilbert, and therefore must be prepared to deal with such an environment and the expectations that come with it. Ultimately the sentiments of discontent among both Bayda and Brown point to larger problems among institutions than whether students can twitter one another or blog about the use of computers in History class, but instead point to a contradiction in methods and expectations; only when those two opposing viewpoints are brought into some type of balance can the discontent be addressed. Perhaps I am missing the point behind the Don’t Let Them Take Pencils Home post by Tom Johnson, but it seems to me that the real issue here is the idiocracy surrounding the “pencils”. If any method does not fit into the optimal test taking data for students, many administrators, and sadly teachers, see it as a danger to performance. This is the crux of the problem in the capitalist bureaucracy surrounding education; if it does not help funding, which is determined by standardized testing, it should be eliminated. These aims are in an effort to deprive children of the education they need to provide social mobility. The businesses that fund education have a vested interest in keeping certain sectors of the population “dumb” in order to drive worker compensation down. By putting so much importance on standardized testing, we have ensured that any real educational endevours have no place in the classroom.

Sunday, March 27, 2011



SMARTboard Project

Glad it's finished! I threw in some cartoons for the kiddies!!

Summary Post C4K 4-6

My C4K assignment 4 was Room Mr. Harris room 19 blog; the class is a year 7/8 class in Auckland, N.Z. My students name was Jonty, and his post was very on topic with EDM 310. His post was regarding the new school acquaition of Netbooks. He was very excited at the prospect of not only learnong through this new format, but also with connecting with other students.

C4K assignment 3 was a first grade class from the same school. The really interesting aspect is how well the students comment, even across grades, on other students work.

My final C4K assignment 6 was a very interesting topic. The class was a Year 5/6 in Tauranga, N.Z These students had been studying how greek art was influenced by its culture; in keeping with this theme they had a slideshow of the work the class had done mimicing some of the greek techniques and culture.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blog Post 9

McClung’s “What I’ve learned this year” contains some useful insights into the realm of education; a first year teachers reflections on his experiences allow us to “learn” from his lesser comings. Firstly McClung addresses the way his lessons are structured. By being overly concerned with how other professionals see his lessons and curriculum, McClung is loosing sight of the audience that really matter, his students. The beurocratic environment that surrounds education can be taxing, but if a teacher can remember who he or she is actually there for, perhaps education can be come truly enlightenment rather than indoctrination. Secondly McClung reflects on his inability to remain “open” in the classroom; an obsession with rules and regulations, or in this case an attachment to your own ideas of how things should go, can lead to missing real educational opportunities. When students show an interest in something, go with it; an ability to improvise and work with students predisposed knowledge is a great asset for any educator. He moves on to addresses communication. For me this is speaks to one of the elements of education that has been lost in recent years; as a group, teachers must work together to achieve the maximum potential of the educational environment. Teaching should, and once was, a collaborative medium. We encourage students to believe that “two heads are better than one”, but seem to ignore that anecdote when it comes to our own profession. He also touches on communication, but in regards to students. So many teachers have a need for authority or order that they loose touch with there students, and thereby dismissing any input they might have. McClung points out that such an exchange is important for growth as both a professional and individual. Lastly he addresses that teachers should not be afraid of technology; while more elaboration might have been warranted, especially considering the purpose and goals of edm 310, the idea rings true. So many people are afraid to move technology into the classroom for fear of how it will affect the traditions of “schooling”. Our society, and by association, and our children are changing; if we do not use every asset we have available to make education relevant to 21st century students, considering all the information we could ever teach them is only keystrokes away, we will loose the battle in preparing them for a globalized future.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blog Post 8

The ideas laid out in Miller’s “How We Dream” lecture are the foundations of what education means moving forward; the influx of technology into our daily lives has dramatically changed our world, and that affect has found its way into the classroom. This new digital age has changed many of the ways we view so many of the longstanding methods regarding print media; just simply visit your local big box retailer and you can find their own take on the e-reader, and even traditionally print mediums have made their way into digital prominence.

So what does all this information mean for the students of tomorrow? The predominance of their exposure to literature will be through mediums such mediums, and teachers must have working knowledge to capitalize on students predisposed knowledge. The ready availability to a wide range of texts, many of which are difficult to locate in print, make the movement toward e-readers a logical step for the future of education.

But more importantly than the specific breakthroughs in ways to consume “print” media, the impact of the digital influence on information is without question the biggest impact of multimedia on educators. The ever evolving information that is available to all individuals in the 21st century is astounding; educators must stay abreast of how to navigate this informational thoroughfare in order to better use such knowledge for the benefits of their students as well as their own.

Both “EDM 310 for Dummies” and “Chipper” were well thought out, and entertaining in the educational context of the intended purpose. While I found these videos somewhat informative, other videos regarding the actual process talked about in EDM 310 for dummies would be exceptionally helpful. I personally have no desire to participate in such video related endeavors but will always offer up harsh criticism whenever possible.
That being said, I feel that the attitudes displayed in the “chipper” video shed a harsh light on the attitudes of many students regarding their own education.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn is a video that features educators sharing their thoughts on the change technology has made in the classroom. They begin by talking about the environment of communication that kids of the 21st century participate in daily; this type of environment can be ideal for enriching materials and promoting discussion. They continue to talk about the flaws in the traditional brick and mortar schools, which there are many, and how it needs to become a place for communal projects rather than a confining space that limits the creativity of its occupants.

The most important part of the video is the opportunity teachers need to hav a network of proven strategies that work with 21st century students. In order to enable students with the skills they need for the jobs of the future, collaboration is a huge tool in accomplishing such lofty aims. A community of shared interest in education in a technologically advanced way can foster new ways to take advantage of the endless amounts of information that we have at our fingertips.

The Secret Power of Time speaks volumes to me about the nature of future learners. 10,000 hours playing video games by the time a male turns 21; this astonishing statistics has real implications for the future of these students. By placing such interactive participants in their environment into one that is bound by control and power dynamics, we are setting these students up to develop aversions to the classroom environment that we all know. This animated short regarding how the passage of time and the three types of thinkers past, present, and future shows just how we can use technology to aide these different types of individuals when we encounter them in our classroom

Drive was a very enlightening video. I had no idea of the results of any such research, and that was a wealth of knowledge. Basically the video describes the results of multiple tests run by top economist regarding motivation and its relation to monetary incentives. While at first it seems almost implausible, but soon you begin to think about what kind of effects monetary reward systems actually have. Implementing this type of rewards system you have effectively changed the focus from the creative ingenuity that people display naturally to some pressure filled, anxiety ridden game. This information is great for anyone who has to learn how to create an environment that depends on productivity.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Project 11

Project 10 PLN update

My Pln is continuing to grow as the semester rocks on. The C4T assignments have given me several resources to follow via my rss feed that help me in my pursuit to be an educator. Twitter has been another valuable resource; With teacher like Mr. Chamberlin and other EDM 310 students past and present, twitter has allowed me to engage in discussion and acquire insight outside of my educational classes. I am using Delicious and tweet deck to organize all of this valuable information

Blog Post 7

Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture" is a remarkable discourse on how one can attain their childhood dreams, but more importantly it is about perseverance and self empowerment. The concepts Professor Pausch outlines are powerful concepts that can be used to help anyone achieve the things they have always dreamed of doing. While glaring his own physical ailments square in the face, Pausch imparts a great amount of wisdom that all individuals can use to achieve their own goals.

We all remember our career aspirations as children; the advent of modern television brought so many worlds into each of our own that we undoubtedly we became fascinated with some unique profession that many told us was unobtainable. Pausch’s dreams reflect some of this same idea. A product of the sixties and seventies, Pausch was privy to an era where anything seemed possible; this generation of human achievement stoked a fire inside Pausch that would propel his creative forces. While many of his goals may seem mundane, such as his desire to win very large stuffed animals, the way he went about attaining these goals is what is truly inspirational.

One of the aspects he discussed multiple times was “walls” and how these affect you pursuit of your dreams. This concept is true to all of us; no matter the numerous professions I sought after, there have always been things that deterred me from continuing. What makes Pausch’s thoughts regarding this so poignant is his attitude; he states that those walls are to keep other people out. While this statement was received with laughter, it is probably the best advice he imparted. This never say die attitude is exactly why he was able to achieve the amazing things he did during his lifetime.

Pausch’s lecture really applies best to teachers when he discusses how to enable others dreams, which he stated can be more rewarding than fulfilling your own. Pausch’s firm belief in the creativity of the human mind is evident. Pausch is an example of many of the principals Ken Robinson discussed earlier in the semester; By growing up in a generation of education that was not solely focused on the standardized test performance, Pausch was able to not only foster his own creativity, but also that of others.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

C4T Summary 2

For this C4t assignment I had the pleasure of reading About a Teacher by Gerta Sandler. This interesting commentary on her personal journey as an educator. Her first post was in regards to blended instruction through blogs and wikis; the post was actually about her presentsation for an online conference for educators. I think it is a great thing for teachers such as Greta, that have personal experiences in the classrooms with integrating this type of technology, to share their experiences with other teachers so they can learn how powerful these tools are.

The second post was a google presentation on creating a safe learning environment. At first the title of the presentation is a little deceiving, the presentation is actually focused on creating more of a nuturing environment. Greta's focus on creating a shared sense of community and clear rules are really great points that every teacher needs to understand in order to provide the best environment for their students.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

TimeToast Timeline Instruction

Summary Post C4K

I have really enjoyed the C4K assignments; i have been able to see technology in action in classrooms from New Zealand to Canada and then back to Alabama. My individual experiences with the assignments has been as varied as their locations. The fist week I commented on Zach's blog; Zach is a sixth grade student who has an affinity for bad grammar. That aside he posted eight random facts about himself. All in all this experience was interesting but yielded no real interesting insight.

My second comment was on Sebastian's blog in New Zealand. His post was very inspirational; the classes had just received their own personal notebooks. Needless to say, seeing schools in other countries take such great initiative to put technology in the hands of their students should inspire us to do the same.

The last comment, from Mrs. Wolfe's class in Birmingham, was a little strange. Firstly the post was anonymous which I found to be strange given that it originated from a class blog, but most notably was it's subject matter. The blog dealt with the idea of believing in God even though you can't see him. While I consider myself to be a believer, the condescending nature of the post seemed a little offsetting given the Author's intentions. But the case was made lucidly, all be it dramatically, therefore I believe the mission was accomplished.

Blog Post 6

a silhouette of a student waking with laptop and ipod style

The Networked Student is a look into the future of our educational system; the 21st century student network is an ideal method for bringing education to new heights. With all the advancements of our modern world, the highly motivated, and creative, student can use the tools available to him/her to access a quality education that is continually slipping away from many young students. The world of pen and paper is killing the future of America’s youth.
If all these outdated methods are so detrimental to the future of America’s youth, and the highly motivated 21st century student has access to wealth of knowledge through the internet, why even have a teacher for a classroom that is so nontraditional? While the wealth of information available to students is a great asset to their education, they need guidance on how to navigate through all the information that they are inundated with on a daily basis.
One of the biggest pitfalls of the internet learning is the validity of information; so much of what are “popular” sources of information are in fact unreliable. Also students in the network of 21st century network rely on communication for the full benefit of their learning, and who can guide students in the proper decorum needed for such a social endeavor? Teachers can help students make the best use of such a monumental educational endeavor.

My PLE was a very enlightening look into how students can use technology to take control of
their education; this system puts the student at the center of their own classroom experience. The main difference between a PLE and a PLN, at least to an amateur observer like me, is the socialization. PLNs are predicated on the interacting among students to share and critique information. While the PLE is a great way to more effectively organize a student’s education, PLNs are what the fusion of education and technology should be; an actual experience that extends beyond the classroom and allows students to enhance their education in ways that could not be possible in the regular classroom.

While SMARTboards are a good first step toward integrating technology into the classroom, there are several arguments for and against their use in the classroom. Why SMARTboards are a dumb initiative argues that this technology is nothing unique, but rather an extension of a monitor with only minor bells and whistles. The really interesting statement made in this article regarding SMARTboards was made in reference to how administrators support such technology based simply on their status as technology rather than their effectiveness.

Bill Ferriter states in his article Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards, “Sure, my students thought it was nifty, but it didn’t make teaching my required curriculum any easier. I probably crafted two or three neat lessons with it, but there was nothing unique about those activities. I could have easily put together similar lessons using the computer stations I already have in my room and any number of free online tools.” This stament heartily supports why teachers see the interactive white board as ineffective, but it does possibly point to the root of such animosity from teachers. The above statement is all about said educator; rather than seeing the potential such technology had by interesting the over caffeinated students of the 21st century, he decided to abandon the initiative because it wasn’t making his lesson “easier”. This experience is great contrast to the one presented in Mr. P's SMART Board blog; here we have the account of a teacher implementing this technology into a primary school classroom. He document how his students specific interest in the technology spurred him on to continue to find ways to use it in his lessons.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blog Post 5

The Benefits of Podcasting in The Classroom shows the practical applications of podcast as alternatives to traditional lecture methods. The most practical, and easily defendable, reason for podcasting in the classroom is for students who are sick; while I never thought of podcasting being used in this fashion, proof of my ignorance I suppose, but what better way could there be for students to stay up to date on the work they have missed.

This video also demonstrates the way that podcast can enrich subject matter. By using voice acting during their readings, Mr. Dell was able to make his sixth grade social studies class lessons something more than words on a page. This is proof that podcasting can generate the creativity that is so important to the future of our students. Mediums such as podcasting embrace both the artistic and the practical; refreshing teaching methods like these are pivotal to our advancement as educators.

100 Ways to Your iPod to Learn and Study Better is very reminiscent of iSchool; it outlines programs already available on the iPod that students can use to help them I their education. Personally I believe Spark Notes is the greatest innovation for English students ever, and many of the other applications seem more than practical for use in the classroom.

With all these great reasons for apple technology in the classroom, why do so many teachers insist on barring all cell phones from classrooms? Overwhelmingly people are using their Smartphones to replace both their phone and iPod touch. This trend is evidence that, in order for technology to find its needed place in the classroom, teachers are going to have to make a conscious effort to embrace this technology, and change their outdated view of phones as a nuisance.

The Educational Podcasting Network is a very interesting aspect that I don’t believe many of us have considered when regarding podcasting; using podcasting as a way for other teachers to connect and share experiences with one another can be vital to the future of classroom advancements. By sharing their experiences, teachers can collaborate with one another in an effort to find new and innovative ways to educate children. Hopefully communities like this can provide current and future educators an the ever evolving nature of the classroom.

Group 9 Podcast


Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Sentence Movie

Blog Post 4

Don’t teach your kids this stuff, Please? is a commentary on the outdated thoughts of technology, especially in regards to its place in the classroom. While most fields have come to embrace technology, and the benefits it brings to any given profession, teachers continue to view technology as an “interference” in their classroom. This outdated view is precisely what is wrong with the future of the education system; in order to prepare our children for the world of tomorrow, technology has to become a major part of the curriculum.

Another interesting aspect that this post touches on is the human innate human fear of technology. This common fear demonstrates how some people believe technology will eventually “takeover” our lives, and, if we do not preserve the old pen and paper methods, our children won’t be able to think for themselves. This preposterous idea read like the most popular of science-fiction novels; however, it is true that technology can lead to a disconnect or loss of individuality. These extreme fears are simply the fear of progress that occurs naturally among human beings. Progress is inevitable; the sooner people come to accept it, the better off our futures will be.

The iSchool Initiative is an inspirational look at how technology could change schooling forever. This video, made in 2009, shows how an iPod touch could be used in the classroom to better streamline the public schooling process; with the innovative platform and apps that were already developed for the iPod, iSchool-ing could become a way to increase the quality and productivity of education, as well as helping to adapt t the growing number of budget cuts.

Thanks to the revived interest in the tablet, companies are now developing systems and applications that make this revolution even more feasible. The iPad has taken the concept of replacement for textbooks, chalkboard, and other outdated methods to a whole new level. This reimagining of an outdated idea might just be one of the first steps in the technological revolution for public schools.

The Lost Generation is a clever video used to present two very different futures. The use of Gertrude Stein’s moniker “Lost Generation” as a means of expressing discontent with the direction of American Society is quite poetic; the ides of negative development expressed here are the in the same vein as Pound, Hemmingway, and Elliot who saw their future American as world they did not ascribe.

The clever use of language is fitting giving the library context; by simply reversing the order, it demonstrates the delicate nature of future events. It is imperative that we understand both outcomes presented in the video in order to have an affect on the outcome.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir is a great example of how technology can bring people together to better accomplish a common goal. The 12 countries that are represented, and the seamless quality of the performance, demonstrate the power of technology.

The other interesting aspect of this video is its affirmation of how technology can spark creativity. This group could have never assembled without the aide of technology. The ability to enhance creativity through technology is something we must continue to explore and employ.

Teaching In the 21st Century, much like iSchool, is evidence of the obsolete nature of the traditional school methods. The idea that students can access any information at anytime, and that teachers are only a medium through which this mass amount of information is filtered, speaks volumes. With the rapid change in technology, teachers need to understand this change in the teaching landscape, and become a guide rather than a lecturer.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Blog Post 3

A Vision of Students Today is truly indicative of the college experience; so many of my peers that i began with at South are no longer here, and those that are feel unprepared for their future. I give them credit for understanding the rapidly changing future, also for the ability to think that far ahead unlike yours truly, but would things be different if teachers had taken a different approach even before they arrived at college? As for additions to the video I believe a type of overlap, especially at the end of the video when they were referencing the chalk board, some type of interactive smartbaord presentation featuring the things they listed lacked in the simple chalkboard methods.

The outdated teaching methods are poisoning the future of the world. If we use the information that we have gathered so far ,regarding the positive effects of technology in education, we could possibly decrease the dangerous dropout rate and even begin to prepare children in elementary and middle schools for the rapid changing job market in order to make more informed decisions involving their academic pursuits.

It's Not About The Technology is a great post concerning the future of education. of course technology plays a role in that future of teachers and students, but that is not the only obstacle facing our students. The methods that have dominated education could benefit from the influx of technology, but teachers have to change their own outdated mindsets before technology can even begin to fill this gap.

The idea that teachers need to be life-long learners is very true, but not only for the reason mentioned in this post. Yes, in order to keep up with the modern trends that can help enrich our classrooms; however without stimulating our own minds with satisfying academic activities, we loose sight of what it means to be a student. Given the fact that the most important step toward better education in the 21st century starts with the curriculum, how can we expect teachers to be critically thinking about such an issue without pursuing their own academic enlightenment. Lack of stimulation creates a stagnant environment for both teachers and students.

Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher blog post by Karl Fisch is really what EDM 310 is all about. The comparison to reading in the 20th century and technology in the 21st century is very insightful; no one would have hired a teacher who could not read or write since the beginning of education. So why should teachers not be asked to understand the movement of the 21st century that will become as important to society as reading is?

The load on teachers doesn't go without notice; it will be up to new generations of teachers to be educated in these new trends. Classes like ours, be it in high school or college, will attempt to prepare new educators for the rapid changing society they will soon be thrust into. With so many advances everyday how can students be expected to understand a world confined by pencil, paper, and chalk. It is our job to stimulate students, and without technology this task will be nearly unlikely.

Watch the Social Media Count is evidence to how technology is driving modern society; technology has become the medium that drives communication. If teachers can use such a powerful force to not only stay connected with kid's and parents, but to spark the individual creativity of our unique children.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blog Post 2

Did You Know Video:

The majority of the information shared in this video was a little shocking; our progression as a society, just over the past twenty years, is astounding. I had no idea that the trends in technology were moving so fast that, by the time I graduate from South, everything I learned will be outdated. I always suspected as much, but it’s nice to know my suspicions have been affirmed.

What the video did make me think about is the power of social media; the fact that Facebook was able to reach 50 million in 2 years speaks volumes to the power of such a medium. One of the most common complaints I hear from educators I know, even those that have inspired me to follow in their footsteps, is that they often do not feel as though they are “connecting” with their students. Dr. Robert Gray, one of the finest professors on the USA campus I assure you, used Facebook to create dialogue amongst my specific class, and more often than not some of our best class discussions occurred outside of the classroom. I attributed these powerful discussions to the freedom and convenience a medium like Facebook can provide as opposed to a classroom setting.

While such an example is evidence of how powerful current technology can be for both students and teachers, this particular video is a reminder of how quickly these methods can become outdated. As future educators we must strive to keep abreast with technological trends in order to keep our use of technology relevant to the world in which our students live.

Mr. Winkle Wakes:

As a future English teacher I found this video very enlightening. Washington Irving’s famous short story is a commentary on how the difference in political regime had no real affect on the everyday lives of the towns-people. Such a satirical premise take on an entirely different meaning when viewed through the lens of technology.

So many of today’s schools do not have access to the type of technology they need to prepare their students for the ever changing future.
Even institutions of higher learning, such as the University of South Alabama, place road blocks for students to access technology for enrichment of certain classes. The idea that all students only bring laptops or tablets to class in order to use their Facebook is well founded, thank you to my peers for having nothing better to do with you class time, but technology offers so many tools for students to expand their education. Knowing how effective technology can be in understanding and applying the subject matter of most higher education courses, it seems like we cannot afford to keep classes technologically “naked”.

The Importance of Creativity:

This video demonstrates the affect that “high-stakes testing” and other standards movement practices have had an impact on the creativity amongst students. So often teachers focus on student’s ability to retain subject matter rather than their ability to understand it. If a student truly understands the methods he is being taught in his literature class he can then begin to create works like he is studying rather than being tied down to those of the past. Our world is evolving and we to must evolve with it. In order for this evolution to take place we need to encourage the children of today to use their creativity to create the subject matter of the future.

I think the fear of many of today’s professional to acknowledge that, in a very short time, their experience and education will be eclipsed. The idea that our education system is geared toward producing university professors is intriguing, but upon consideration this is perhaps the truest statement of this entire lecture. We need to realize that intelligence is diverse; simply because a student does not know his or her times tables does no mean that their ability to create beautiful art is indicative of their lack of intelligence.

Kids Press Corps Interview:

The more I hear about Sir Ken Robinson, the more enlightened I become. The really intriguing aspect of this interview is the interest the young girl is taking in global education. She understands the differences in the institutional factors that affect each country. Her ability to attend a performing art school at such a young age is a crucial step in the direction that Robinson is so passionate about; this type of creative reinforcement gives Cecilia the opportunity to expand on her passions in order to build a better educational experience.

Robinson’s statement about the three myths of creativity speaks to how our society views “education”; rather than having institutions that enrich children’s individual talents, in order to help them cultivate their own unique abilities, school is viewed as the indoctrination center where creativity is replaced by test scores and outdated standards.

Harness Your Students Smarts is an example of how the use of technology in the classroom can open so many doors for students, teachers, and even entire schools. These students in rural Georgia are able to experience the similarities and differences of an entirely different culture all through the technology in their high school classroom; these experiences open students up to the world around them, and make our students a valuable part of the new globalized industries of tomorrow.

Another great aspect of this video was the industriousness of the teacher who started this remarkable program. Her willingness to meet curricular standards, while still using the student’s individual strengths and weaknesses to accomplish these goals, is what makes this particular class so effective. Only with more teachers like Vicki Davis can education become both technologically advanced and focused on the individual talents of the unique students we come in contact with.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Project 3 C4T Summary #1

I was assigned to Karl Fisch's blog The Fischbowl; the first post i viewed( 1/24 ) was an annual faculty dance. The dance took place in the gym, it appeared like a pep rally, and the theme was 80's music. the "professional quality" of the dancing aside, i told Mr. Fisch how great it was to see faculty having such a good time. As the student of an overly devout christian school, i was never able to see a majority of my teachers as anything more than an overbearing authority figure. Activities like this allow for a really great connect between students and teachers.

The second post( 2/1 ), was brainstorming ways to incorporate a "blended" math class; blended being a mix of virtual and face to face instruction. I elaborated on personal experiences so far in classes that employed online components to their curriculum. I suggested that ,with Mr. Fisch's technological knowledge, he could incorporate a traditional type of class shell online with some of the latest educational technology to create a unique experience.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blog Post 1

Hello to all of my fellow classmates; my name is Barry Wall. I am a Mississippi native who commutes to campus daily. This will be my first experience with an online class at USA so I am looking forward to that new experience. I am currently a Secondary English Education major, and I am hoping to complete all my pre candidacy requirements this semester. I am astonishingly lucky to have the most amazing wife and daughter anyone could ever ask for; they are my inspiration for all I do. I, like the rest of my family, are huge Mississippi State fans. We were lucky enough to travel to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl over the vacation; it was my first bowl game and it was great. I currently work at the Rocky Creek Inn in Lucedale, as a front desk clerk, three days a week. I enjoy my job and the downtime it affords me to do homework and waste my time on the internet.

Despite the fact that I have lived in Mississippi for the last 19 years, I was originally born in Fort Worth while my mother was employed at NASA Ames Aviation Systems Division, I attended all of middle school and high school in Mobile. Combine this fact with my family circumstances and USA becomes the best option for my pursuit of higher learning. My biggest passion in life is stories; be it movies or print I enjoy the imaginative and transcendental nature of storytelling. That is perhaps the major driving force behind my desire to teach English. Throughout my education, at least until college, I was never shown the power of literature; poetry and prose have the unique ability to convey ideas that speak volumes to the human condition. Understanding ones self, as well as those around them, can lead to a better tomorrow. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” This passage from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass is evidence to the unifying nature of language and the written word.